Shinzen Young is an American mindfulness teacher and neuroscience research consultant.
His systematic approach to categorizing, adapting and teaching meditation, known as Unified Mindfulness, has resulted in collaborations with Harvard Medical School, Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Vermont in the bourgeoning field of contemplative neuroscience.
Shinzen’s interest in Asia began at the age of 14 when he decided to attend Japanese ethnic school in his native city of Los Angeles.
After majoring in Asian languages at UCLA, he entered a PhD program in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin.
As a part of his thesis research, he lived as a Shingon (Japanese Vajrayana) monk for three years at Mount Koya, Japan. It was then that he received the name Shinzen (真善).
Also during that time, he became friends with Father William Johnston (author of Christian Zen). Fr. Johnston helped broaden Shinzen’s interests to include comparative world mysticism and the scientific study of meditative states.
Upon returning to the United States, his academic interests shifted to the dialogue between Eastern meditation and Western science.
Shinzen is known for his interactive, algorithmic approach to mindfulness, and often uses mathematical metaphors to illustrate meditative phenomena.
He is the author of The Science of Enlightenment, Natural Pain Relief and numerous audio offerings and leads residential retreats throughout North America.
Shinzen likes to say of himself:
I’m a Jewish-American Buddhist teacher who got turned on to comparative mysticism by an Irish-Catholic priest and who has developed a Burmese-Japanese fusion practice inspired by the spirit of quantified science.
For more information on Shinzen's articles, his books, YouTube videos, and other programs, visit
his website HERE.